As far as New Year's resolutions go, Johnny Sligo has a big one - start learning to walk again.

After 13 weeks in Tauranga Hospital the 32-year-old Papamoa student, whose left leg was amputated above the knee after a blood clot in September, was happy to make it home in time for Christmas.

Sligo - also known as Johnny Blaze on the Tauranga wheelchair sport circuit - said it was "a bit daunting" to come home after so long stuck in a tiny hospital room.

He planned to follow up a quiet Christmas - spent at home with mum, Pauline, and a friend - with a quiet summer holiday weaning himself off medication and regaining his focus for the year ahead.

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Johnny Sligo is happy to be home in Papamoa after 13 weeks in hospital. Photo/Samantha Motion
Johnny Sligo is happy to be home in Papamoa after 13 weeks in hospital. Photo/Samantha Motion

Sligo was expecting 2018 to be a busy one as he worked to complete his Bachelor of Sport and Recreation at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology and began his rehabilitation with the ultimate goal of being fitted for a prosthetic leg and walking again.

To meet that goal, the surgical wound on his stump needed to heal completely and neatly - something that has not been going to plan so far.

Sligo said he would be meeting with a plastic surgeon in early January to discuss whether a skin graft would help.

"I am not going to push it, I need to let it heal so I can get a prosthetic because I want to be able to walk again. That's my big goal now."

He planned to continue his work on the board of Parafed, including helping to plan the Bayfair Festival of Disabled Sport in March, and stay involved with local wheelchair sports, even if he could not play.

He hoped that staying busy would "help me keep my mind off the negative stuff".

Although he had lived with physical disability most of his life, learning to live without his leg was a different mental challenge.

"I just need to eat healthy and stay active and slowly work towards my big goals. I'm taking things day by day and not thinking too far ahead."

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Friends raise nearly $11,000 for Johnny Blaze

Amanda Lowry is towed into the water for her ocean swim on November 25. Photo/Andrew Warner
Amanda Lowry is towed into the water for her ocean swim on November 25. Photo/Andrew Warner

A Givealittle campaign has raised just under $11,000 so far to help Johnny Sligo buy a prosthetic limb.

The page was set up in October when good friend Amanda Lowry, a tetraplegic Paralympic swimming hopeful, volunteered to take on the longest ocean swim of her life as a fundraiser for Johnny.

Lowry smashed the swim from Mount Main Beach to Rabbit Island on November 25 in front of a roaring crowd.

Sligo said he was humbled by the support and by the number of people who came out on the day.

"I was inspired by Amanda and what she did in the water. It was a reminder that anything is still achievable if you want it enough."

The cost of a prosthetic was estimated to be between $20,000 and $30,000.

DONATE: givealittle.co.nz/cause/johnnyblaze/